- Create consistent sleep and wake times
The best way to get great sleep consistently is to set your circadian rhythm and the best way to do that is to go to sleep and wake up at the same time as consistently as possible. This might sound simple but if you don’t already have a regular bed time and wake up time then getting into a better sleep routine can do wonders for your health and wellbeing as sleep quality improves. Aim to go to bed at pretty the much the same time every night (or at least as many nights in the week as possible) and wake up at the same time every day too, even the weekends.
- Set up a bedtime alarm
To get enough sleep it is crucial for most people to get to bed early enough to have an opportunity for your 7-9 hours of sleep but it is very easy to let time slip by and suddenly find yourself up way too late. Set a recurring alarm on your phone or other device to remind you when it is time to start to prepare for bed and sleep. Remember to factor in the time it takes to go through your bedtime routine like showering, brushing your teeth, reading etc.
- No screen time at least one hour before bed (T.V, tablets, laptop, smart phones etc. off)
The blue light from devices like TVs, laptops, tablets and phones etc. trick your brain into thinking it is still daylight. This interrupts your circadian rhythm (your inner day/night body-clock) and inhibits melatonin, your sleep hormone, meaning you might find it harder to get to sleep or have poor quality sleep. Aim to spend the last hour of the day without any exposure to screens.
- No caffeine in the PM. (Aim to have your last coffee or caffeinated tea/drink no later than 12 noon)
Caffeine from coffee, tea, energy drinks etc. can stay in your system many hours after it has been consumed and can make it harder to get to sleep but it also causes fragmented sleep meaning it affects the quality of your sleep. 25% of the caffeine you consume will still be in your system 10 hours later to if you drink a lot of tea/coffee or drink it late in the day start weaning yourself off by cutting out your latest cuppa and replace it with something like herbal tea
- Keep it cool
Keeping your bedroom cool can go a long way to promote deep, restful sleep as the ideal temperature for your sleeping environment is about 18.5 degree Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit). The core temperature of your brain and body need to drop by about 2-3 degrees for high quality sleep so having your bedroom slightly cooler than the rest of your house takes you in the right direction for a great night’s sleep. Check your thermostat, adjust your heating or consider having a window slightly open to keep your bedroom a bit cooler and enjoy deeper, more revitalising sleep.